The Pacers start off the ’12-’13 season with three tight, down to the wire games. It was not always pretty but they managed to open up with a 2-1 record. It’s certainly too early to determine anything for certain, but there were a few bright spots and a few areas of concern for the team.
The first two games of the season were on the road in Toronto and Charlotte. Each game was decided by only one point, leaving us all on the edge of our seats. George Hill came up clutch in Toronto as he hit a deciding Mark Jackson-esque floater down the lane with only a couple ticks remaining. In Charlotte newcomer D.J. Augustin had a chance to win it at the buzzer but couldn’t quite get the corner shot to drop. The Pacers opened up Bankers Life Fieldhouse Saturday night against the Sacramento Kings with another thrilling game, giving the home crowd their money’s worth and then some with a double overtime victory.
The offense proved to be sluggish for all three games. Currently the team is ranked 17th in the league in scoring. Without the points that they tallied in the two overtimes they would only have 90 points per game, which would currently rank them 26th among the 30 NBA teams. It’s important to note that the Pacers played all three games without their team captain Danny Granger. Gerald Green has been filling in as the starting small forward for the team, but was not able to find his scoring touch until Saturday’s game. David West has emerged as the team’s leading scorer with 19 per contest, but will need fellow big man Roy Hibbert to drastically step up his offensive output if they want to win games against the league’s elite teams.
Defensively the Pacers played well in all three games, which allowed them to pull out a pair of wins while they tried to get their offense in sync. They are currently the NBA’s best rebounding team, pulling down 55 a game and outrebounding opponents by nearly 12 boards per contest. That just serves to offset their league worst 21 turnovers per game though. Lance Stephenson looks to be coming into his own this year, continuing his high level of play from the Summer League and preseason. Lance and Tyler Hansbrough are both averaging about 10 points off the bench for Indiana and provided the starters with support. We’re all expecting to see better play from D.J. Augustin over the next few weeks though.
Hopefully they can shake the rust off of their offense and maintain their defensive efforts again they get ready to play San Antonio and Atlanta early this upcoming week. There is still no word on when we should expect Granger to return so the team will have to approach every game with a no excuses mentality. It’s hard to say anything definitive about the team at this early juncture, but it sure was nice to see Pacers basketball again!